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What Other MLS fans think about the Montreal Impact

MLS: Portland Timbers at Montreal Impact
IMFC players huddle before the starting whistle against the Portland Timbers
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Introducing myself to our Readers

Hello/Bonjour

The following article will be my first on this particular site. I will briefly explain who I am and other information about myself. I will be a contributor on this site along with the Managing Editor, Paul Vance. To begin I am an 18 year old die hard Montreal Impact fan, residing in New York on the New York Canadian border. I became an Impact fan 2 and a half years ago after attending a thrilling 2-1 victory over Orlando SC. From that game forward I immediately fell in love with the club, players, and city. Fast forward to 2019 I have now attended 28 matches and currently attend every match at the fortress Stade Saputo. I am a dedicated fan hoping to bring our readers new and exciting articles with a modern twist. I hope you all enjoy the article. Thank you/ Merci Allez Montreal

Background

In this article I prepared a series of questions, questions I would ask MLS fans around the league about the Impact, its players, and our beautiful city. I began direct messaging fans on Instagram asking them the list of questions that will be listed below. The questions will be numbered with a variety of responses from the fans I interviewed. Along with the answers I will respond with a Montreal point of view or simply my opinion as well. I have also held discussions with fellow Impact fans and I believe that my opinion will be in line with most Impact fans if they were asked these questions. I interviewed the following individuals: Aidan Ballard, 14, Minnesota United FC, Aaron Fritchley, 15, Atlanta United FC, Oliver Anderson, 14, New England Revolution, Lucas, 18, Columbus Crew, Jeffrey Moody, 16, Columbus Crew, Anonymous’ 16’ Orlando City SC, Max Sommers, 14, Seattle Sounders, and lastly Cole Bonds, 15, Seattle Sounders. I also interviewed a Impact Fan Maxime Theriault, 15, Impact de Montreal along with others around Stade Saputo.

The Interviews:

Question One: In your opinion what are the best known player/ players on Montreal or a Montreal player you highly respect?

Oliver A, NER: Back when Dominic Oduro played for the Impact he was very fast on the wings. Oduro seemed to dominate New England and was very exciting to watch.

Orlando, Orlando City SC: Piatti is definitely the player I respect the most. He has scored many times against Orlando and is a constant threat against Orlando City SC. Because of his performances against Orlando he deserves my respect and appreciation.

Cole B, Seattle Sounders: Taider, he is a dynamic box to box midfielder that adds a lot on the attack and defensively. I would love to see him in a Sounders jersey.

Author/Montreal Fan: It seems the most common answer was Ignacio Piatti. He brings a lot to the table for the Impact including scoring. playmaking , and leadership. For many he is what fans around the league think of when they hear the Montreal Impact.

Question two: Montreal’s all time best player or players?

Jeff M, Columbus Crew: In my opinion it has to be Drogba and Piatti.

Lucas, Columbus Crew: It is certainly Piatti however, Drogba, Nesta, and Sagna also come to mind as great Montreal players.

Orlando, Orlando City SC: Piatti for me is Montreal’s number one best player of all-time. However, Drogba and Ciman also come to mind as well. Drogba was a globally recognized superstar and helped in his short time with Montreal. Laurent Ciman with Montreal for me was one of Major League Soccer’s best defenders.

Author/Montreal fan: Piatti is certainly the obvious choice and was the most common answer with those interviewed. Second on the Impact’s all time scoring list and leading in many categories Piatti in my opinion is the best. However, many Impact fans would mention long time captain and Canadian International Patrice Bernier in that category. Drogba and Mauro Biello also deserve a mention as Drogba helped put Montreal on the Map while Biello is the club’s all time leading goal scorer.

Question three: What do you think of the Impacts style of play?

Aiden B, MUFC: I believe Montreal has a well balanced system of play. They use their fullbacks well and it definitely adds to the attack for the Impact.

Max S, Seattle Sounders: I feel Montreal’s strength is their defending with players like Zakaria Diallo, Bacary Sagna, Daniel Lovitz, and Rudy Camacho to name a few. Montreal can use some help in their attacking however, when Urruti begins to score they will be ok. They seem very inconsistent in my opinion.

Lucas, Columbus Crew: I do not watch Montreal often, their style is nothing special and even a little generic at times.

MLS: New England Revolution at Montreal Impact
Ignacio Piatti in what could turn out to be his last appearance at Stade Saputo
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Author/ Montreal fan: Aiden makes a good point, our style seems to rely heavily on quality fullbacks that can dribble the ball and send in lethal crosses into the box. Montreal’s strength as of now is its defense however, the defense is very inconsistent. In my opinion it has been very hard for Montreal to establish a true identity or any kind of consistency due to injury, suspension, and players called to International duty. I believe the Impact need to establish their offensive game and identity during the second half of the season to make the playoffs.

Question four: Based on Montreal’s current roster/ form do you believe they can win the MLS Cup or the Concacaf Champions League?

Answers for Question four:

Aaron F, ATL United: I don't think they will win anything this season but I believe they are only a few pieces away from being legitimate contenders.

Oliver A, NER: They have the same chance as the New England Revolution. If they catch fire they all of a sudden have as good a chance as anyone in the league. But when Montreal is bad they are just as bad as the Revolution.

Jeff M, Columbus Crew: I do not believe with Montreal’s current roster they will be able to win the CCL or MLS cup. They need to add more talent before having a reasonable chance at winning either competition.

Author/Montreal fan: All of those interviewed had one common opinion - NO! Montreal cannot win either competition. I unfortunately, must agree with them at this point in time. Montreal is missing its best player and struggles to score goals, they have over-performed this season. I do believe this is a team capable of making a playoff run and winning the Canadian Cup sending us to the Champions League however, and that coming up is a key off-season for Montreal which will be a test for the future. In my opinion using all three Designated player slots is the start while adding high caliber bench players a must. Montreal is not far but far enough where success in either competition is simply unrealistic.

Question Five: What are your thoughts on Montreal’s home stadium Stade Saputo? Mention anything that stands out.

Max S, Seattle Sounders: I have never been to Stade Saputo but from videos it seems like the atmosphere is exciting. I loved hearing the bell go off in the crazy play-off match between Toronto and Montreal in 2016-17.

Aaron F, ATL United: Stade Saputo has a great atmosphere compared to other places in the MLS. As someone who isn't from Montreal everything being in another language is awesome.

Lucas, Columbus Crew: I have traveled to Montreal once in 2017 when the Crew won 3-2 thanks to Justin Meram. The atmosphere was amazing but I remember the food was over-priced and not that great.

Author/ Montreal Fan: I believe the reflections and opinions of these MLS fans were very accurate. Stade Saputo has a very electric atmosphere that traps noise and feels very intimate. The 1642’s North Star bell was mentioned by almost every person interviewed, I would agree it’s sound is great and is a unique piece of the stadium. I would agree the food is expensive and is just ok, the concessions are also on the slow side. I would also complain about the bathrooms on one side of the stadium, they are simply trailers..... Overall Stade Saputo has a great atmosphere and should be placed in the upper echelons of game day atmospheres in MLS.

MLS: New England Revolution at Montreal Impact
Patrice Bernier subbed off at Stade Saputo in his final career match.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Question six: Based on your knowledge or experiences, what sites or qualities of Montreal appeal to you?

Oliver A, NER: Downtown Montreal is sick and I go a lot. The water front is really nice and is one of my favorite spots. Montreal is a clean and beautiful city when compared to New York City or Boston.

Aaron F, ATL United: Montreal was really a breathtaking beautiful city. I took a bike tour around the city and it was a great place. The area around Olympic stadium was really cool as well.

Orlando Orlando City SC: Ive never been to Montreal however, I have been to Quebec. With my limited knowledge I would find a place to get a poutine (french fries, gravy, and cheese curds) before and after the game.

Editor/ Montreal fan: I would say Montreal is a breathtaking city with something for anyone and everyone. Montreal has great night life, sports, a theme park, and much more. It certainly is old with an older district and a beautiful Cathedral. Montreal is unique and is the “European city” of North America with roots from France.

Question seven: How did you get into soccer and How did you become a fan of your club?

Cole B, Seattle Sounders: I have been a fan of soccer for as long as I can remember. My family has watched soccer my whole life and I also currently play as well. As for the Sounders my family have been fans of the club since 2003 through good and bad times.

Aidan B, MUFC: I have always had a local club growing up. I remember when my club played in the NASL, Christian Ramirez was an exciting player to watch. My love for the club grew when we were promoted to an MLS franchise and I became a season ticket holder. My fandom of the team and the league skyrocketed and now I love soccer and MUFC.

Jeff M, Columbus Crew: I have always played soccer, I wanted to watch good quality soccer and the Crew played only an hour away. When I heard about the potential move of the team out of Columbus my fandom increased. I wanted to help and do anything possible to keep the Crew in Columbus. After the movement was a success I became a super fan of the team attending many games.

Author/ Montreal fan: Growing up I played soccer but never really followed the sport. Hockey was always my love and passion growing up. One day I attended an Impact game and was immediately hooked as a fan of the team and the league. That day I became a soccer fan and now follow European and International football as well. I am now a season ticket holder and drive from the US to Montreal for every match even on weeknights.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Montreal Impact
Didier Drogba former IMFC and Chelsea legend battles for the ball in MLS play
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Question eight: Do you prefer Montreal or Toronto and Why?

Cole B, Seattle Sounders: Montreal, every day of the week, Torontos fans are terrible. I do not like Michael Bradley nor Jozy Altidore. I do not have a problem with anything about Montreal.

Aidan B, MUFC: I have to be honest here, I am more of a Toronto fan in any sport. My family have been to Toronto and love the city. However, as a neutral the rivalry makes for a great entertaining game of soccer.

Max S, Seattle Sounders: Without a doubt I prefer Montreal. We have created an inter conference rivalry with Toronto because of the two MLS Cups we have played against the Reds. What TFC fans have done like the burning of a Columbus fan with flares is embarrassing to the league and a brutal act of violence. I am glad to be friends with many Montreal fans.

Author/Montreal fan: The results were essentially unanimous for this question. And I would agree with everything that was said. Almost everyone showed resentment towards the fans of Toronto FC for burning a crew fan and damaging Ottawa Fury’s stadium. Another unfortunate story that emerged last season was a TFC fan shoving a young Impact supporter to the ground and stealing his supporter’s scarf.

Some teams around the league have stories similar to the ones mentioned above and that, along with their success and resources, combines in making Toronto one of the least liked teams in the league. Add to that, unpopular (with opposition fans) players, like Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, and you can see why The Reds are not the most popular club in MLS.

Conclusion

In conclusion I would l like to thank all of those who contributed with the interviews and speaking with me about the Impact. I would like to thank all readers and hope the article was something different and provided insight to how the other teams in the league think about our beloved club. I have many great ideas and look forward to creating innovative and creative articles. Merci/ Thanks for reading ...